Why Xentity where others have failed?
It is a common question. What can a smaller firm do for me where a management or IT firm cannot? Why us to solve where others fail?
Sure, we have our foundations like Xentity is the only IT consulting firm that puts the data program first and we love the data program challenges. Why does it matter that our data program services (Strategy, Design, Development, and Operations) focus on specific GOBI (Geospatial, Open, Big, IoT data) data? Can’t an IT firm do that – its all software and cloud, right? Can’t a management consulting firm do it for us as its a process, maturity, and leadership challenge? ‘Blustery words’ aside, we get asked often how can a data-first program make a difference? Why do those with the largest data program challenges select and succeed with you Why not select a Big 4 firm or IT firms over our approach?
Yet, many do and our results keep coming. Since 2001, Xentity has provided over 150 engagements and supported over 45 data programs across Federal, State, Local, Education, and Commercial Clients. And we have help our client succeed in the Largest open data and geospatial and remote sensing programs, assets, and platforms in the world.
- For Executives Sponsors, we’ve co-executed Data-Driven Transformation Roadmap, lead outsourced CDO/Chief Architect units, designed implementable Data Integration Operation Concepts, and executed rapid Platform Alternative Analysis to guide investment.
- For Data Program Directors – We’d led heavy lift Data Integration Platform Architecture, delivered GOBI solutions in discovery, platforms, services, and apps, led rapid prototypes to advance that initial vision, and aligned all solutions to complicated CIO Information Management requirements (EA, Records, FOIA).
- For Data Operation Centers – we’ve delivered and operated aggregation & data pipelines/ETL, addressed those dirty data migration messes, supported open data administration, and led National Geospatial Data Operations.
So, what makes us succeed with our clients in this. What is some of the secret sauce? Like any effort, there is probably luck and timing plays a part – though 20+ years of success and advancement probably has more calculated risk at worst.
Luck and Risk aware approaches aside, we believe there are key differences we bring in our focus as a Data-First Consulting firm hyper-focused on Large Data Programs needs.
Top 10 list of “What does a data-first firm do different”
Here is a quick top 10 to what a data-first firm does different to servicing and supporting Data Programs:
1st 5 – Our Approach
1. We focus our corporate capabilities on the data program challenge GOBI (Geospatial, Open, Big, IoT data) first and then how management and technical fit-in. This puts at center the premier actor – the data program. We find other approaches starting with IT or management will modernize IT or improve management techniques, yet ends up enforcing legacy practices (aka like “moving deck chairs on the Titanic)
2. We believe in strategic roadmaps aligned to gaining support in the current body of work now needed to address this Fiscal Year to garner change in clients such that they can gain trust and loyalty from stakeholders to support future change. Gain that line of sight early on external pressures, anti-patterns.
3. We focus on facilitating portfolio challenges instead of whitepapers as lead to our approach. We believe whitepapers have their place – as secondary or later – to impart change. We focus on identifying the biggest epic pain points, aligning to authority and use priorities, user story opportunities to address via supply chain, platform, services, applications, data quality, integration, transformations, and new capabilities needed to ensure data program purpose, value, and sometimes existence validation.
4. Our Business Transformation methods for data programs was adopted by White House/OMB in ‘08 as best practices for aligning stakeholders, goals, pain points, product and service opportunities, and input changes to technical, resources, and budgeting.
Data can be dry, so we even have Emmy-award winning (literally) Communications help clients showcase value and stories of how data impacts in Videos and couple with other methods.
2nd 5 – Our Engagement
6. We use Jumpstart Workshops (3 types) to help get stakeholder input on the ‘line of sight’, identify near-term actions, and proof of concept (POCs) or tactical opportunities, alongside the longer target state roadmap progression
7. We have the teams to jumpstart targeted POCs or ‘Less Sooner MVPs’ and specific user stories in the new process, data flow, model, service, or applications to demonstrate where impacts can be made.
8. Because we have supported near 50% of all the National Geospatial Data Programs in our various services, our re-use of geospatial patterns to known patterns and solutions brings massive value to accelerating initiatives against known policy, challenges, and investment controls.
9. Our approach to Chief Data Office or Data Program Leadership differs in that we have a two-prong integrated CDO Toolkit approach between Chief Data Officer (Governance/Strategy) and Chief Data Architect (Roadmap, POCs, and Balanced Innovative Varied Data Solution Design and Development).
10. We often see data program services are in primarily IT and management services contracts. The big firms and our IT partners often reach back to us to fill those GOBI data program gaps on our services. They are happy as a challenge outside their strike zone gets solved for their client and we stay in our swim lane. We can work in our existing Contract Vehicles for standalone work as well, yet more often than not, Data Program Services are embedded within IT contracts.
Bonus: Our dedication to agile controls consistently receives highest marks on our performance assessments. We have adopted a blend of top management consulting firm practices with the lighterweight tools needed to blend with and into the client culture. This includes in project management, quality control, disciplined adherence to agile tools, training, tracking, communications and more. We are consistently customer service response to addressing challenges, risks, mitigations, adjustments for our staff is refined and top level.